So my family and I managed to get away for a few days into the Highlands. Not so much a holiday, as we were working most of the time, but a lovely change of scenery nonetheless. In-between jobs we managed to take in a couple of hills, some glorious spring weather and, at night, put our feet up with a dram and a book in front of the log fire.
It had been quite a bucolic first day until darkness creeped in and I had gotten a few chapters into ‘The Fisherman’ by John Langan.
I had happened upon this book whilst following links from something-or-other to something-else and thought that it sounded like an entertaining holiday read.
It wasn’t long into the book though that Withnail’s exclamation ‘Those are the kind of windows that faces look in at!’ sprung to mind. Seconds after, I closed the curtains to the blackness outside, trying not to see past the reflection of the room behind me . . . and trying very hard not to ask my wife to close them for me.
‘The Fisherman’ was one of those surprise finds you can’t help but rave to people about. I don’t want to post any spoilers, but the black, brooding atmosphere of the story at times bordered on sheer terror.
It is a story about friendship, loss, dark and secret histories, and, above all, scaring the bejesus out of typesetters. It’s the first horror book that I’ve read in a long time that had me forcing myself to switch off the lights behind me on the long darkening walk along the hallway to bed.
Fans of Lovecraft, Poe, M.R. James, E.F. Benson and Michelle Paver will love ‘The Fisherman’. Fans of getting a good night’s sleep, the sound of bubbling brooks and gazing out at the endless night through their windows had best read it in the daytime.
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